The story's memorable climax involves an act of cruelty that leads Carrie to unleash her fury against her classmates, and it's in that extended sequence that director Kimberly Peirce (Stop-Loss) gives this Carrie its most vivid, hard-to-forget moments and images.

But is that enough? The finale is bloody and impressive, but it amounts to little more than an outpouring of uncontrolled rage and fury. Those elements of Carrie's personality are clearly condemned in Scripture (for example, Proverbs 29:11 and James 1:19-20), even if we feel sympathy for a young girl who's unable to control herself. The finale of Carrie is an extended outburst of retaliation against those who have wronged her.

The 1976 version's lush visuals, moody score and use of split screen made De Palma's Carrie a remarkable cautionary tale about teenage cruelty, female empowerment and religious fanaticism. It also depicted telekinetic powers without explaining them or condemning the manifestation of Carrie's supernatural abilities. Peirce's version of Carrie leaves us with an image of a young girl whose inability to control her budding power threatens to destroy everything she cares about—herself included. It's a sad story, one in which the only gratification comes in seeing the title character get even with those who have wronged her. That leaves Peirce's Carrie spiritually arid and, for most of its running time, visually dull, no matter how much blood is spilled during its final half hour.

Depending on your tolerance for blood, rage and the dangers of a "Christian" upbringing, Carrie may make you see red in more ways than one.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: Lord's name taken in vain; s-word; d-ck; the f-word; d-mn; crude references to the male anatomy
  • Drinking/Smoking: None
  • Sex/Nudity: Carrie is shown in a shower—no nudity, but she begins to have her period and reaches out with bloody hands; students throw tampons at Carrie; students kiss passionately; female students shown in their underwear; boys simulate oral sex; two teens have sex in a car—no nudity shown; Chris says her friend booked her prom-night hotel room and is practicing the noises she'll make during sex
  • Violence/Crime: A home birth; bloody sheets; a teacher slaps Carrie, who has become hysterical; Carrie uses telekenetic powers to tamper with an office water bottle, cause a boy to crash on his bike, and to levitate furniture, objects and people; Carrie's mom wounds herself while interacting with customers at her workplace; Carrie's mom bangs her head against a wall at home and harms herself physically when frustrated; pig's blood is dumped on a prom king and queen; the bucket strikes a boy and kills him; Carrie's rampage kills numerous people, including cutting one boy in half and forcing others to have car accidents; a character is stabbed; another is impaled with several sharp objects
  • Religion/Morals/MarriageCrosses on a wall; an open Bible on the stairs; religious images; crucifixes; a cross necklace; a teacher tells Carrie that what her classmates did to her was unforgivable; Carrie’s mom believes her daughter was conceived in sin, and she speaks of the "sin of intercourse"; she accuses Carrie of having sin-filled thoughts, but Carrie counters that it's her mom who sinned; Carrie is forced into a literal prayer closet; blood drips from a crucifix; Carrie's mom tells a customer at her workplace, "These are godless times"; Carrie is called a witch, and the devil is said to have gotten hold of her; her mom is seen reading the Bible; the Lord's Prayer is said; Carrie has supernatural powers she believes run in her family

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com.

Publication date: October 18, 2013